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Immigration

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Immigration


Published 1946


Reviews the history of immigration to the United States up to the restrictive law passed in 1924. A dramatized scene in a European steamship office is used to show the economic, political and religious motives for immigration. Contains scenes of Ellis Island and New York City in the early 20th century.


Run time 10:22
Producer Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Inc.
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W

Shotlist

Map-Chart technique surveys chronologically and compactly the history of immigration up to the restrictive law of 1924. Economic, political and religious motives of immigrants shown in scene in steamship office abroad. Scene at Ellis Island.


Ken Smith sez: A very dry film with very little to say about immigrants who aren't European. This film depicts city tenements as healthy enclaves of ethnicity, and spends a lot of time showing arrows pointing from other parts of the world toward the U.S. The narrator asks "Could these people of many nations become a part of the American way of life?" which is kind of revealing, when you think about it.
22:54:27
Pedestrians on city street
22:54:35
Crowd in bleachers at sporting event
22:54:43
Map of Europe and North America with moving graphics showing immigration from various countries.
22:57:08
Steamship agent's office in European port circa 1900. Eastern European immigrants stand at counter (reenactment)
22:57:27
Poor European peasants working in a field
22:57:54
Man being searched by police wearing German World War I style uniforms and helmets.
22:58:20
Jewish family carrying menorahs is evicted from home by police
22:58:27
Policeman kicks over menorahs.
22:58:54
Steamship poster on office wall
22:59:07
LS Ellis Island
22:59:08
Immigrants passing through Ellis Island immigration procedures (reenactment)
22:59:25
Doctor examines immigrant woman with stethoscope
23:00:44
Factory smokestacks
23:00:49
Tenement buildings with wash hanging out on clotheslines. Slums. Children on streets. Street vendors in ghettos. (Scenes of crowded Lower East Side, New York City)
23:10:06
Shop signs in various languages: Italian, Chinese, Hebrew, Hungarian, Russian, Spanish
23:01:20
People buy from fruit vendor
23:01:25
Elderly Jewish man sits on stoop reading newspaper
23:01:24
Woman on street with baby carriage. Man and children are on sidewalk.
23:01:32
People coming out of large church
23:01:38
Display of VS foreign language newspapers on newsstand
23:01:54
Trade union meeting. Adults at school desks raise hands to vote
23:03:10
People leaving work
23:03:17
Man playing violin
23:03:25
Montage of VS individual people at work
23:03:29
Children entering school building
23:03:31
2 school children point to map or chart on schoolroom blackboard
23:03:39
High school classroom with students raising hands and teacher
23:03:47
Adult education class
23:03:57
"United States Department of Justice Immigration - Naturalization Service" sign on doorway of building. People enter and leave.
23:04:05
People take citizenship oaths before judge. Shot of courtroom. Everyone rises to his feet.
23:04:19
People raising their hands
23:04:20
Pan up Statue of Liberty. Film ends before shot finishes.
THE END

Describes immigration to America. Focuses on European migrations; [mixture of recreated footage and actual]. Describes immigrants reasons for coming to America: political freedom, economic opportunity and religious freedom. Shows German soldiers harassing and arresting man; Russian soldiers kick over two menorahs;

Ellis Island; immigration officials; immigrants being examined by doctors; immigrant with sad look on his face.
plowing; churches; factories; tenements with laundry hanging;
steamship office with immigrants seeking passage. Eastern European peasants working land. store signs: Italian; Chinese; Hebrew; Eastern European, Spanish; on the Lower East Side; sweat shop sign. Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side; slums; pushcarts; a variety of ethnic newspapers on a newsstands; union hall. 1924 Congress passes legislation restricting immigration. people leaving work; very good montage of people at work; Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service building

film includes African-Americans in many shots

Naturalization process

Lots of animation using world maps of the paths of immigration over the years.
IMMIGRANTS IMMIGRATION ELLIS ISLAND MAPS CHARTS MAPS CHARTS AMERICAN HISTORY LAWS CITIZENSHIP POLITICAL RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION REFUGEES STEAMSHIPS UNITED STATES
<BR>

comment
Reviews

Reviewer: JayKay49 - - August 19, 2012
Subject: All That to Immigarate to the US?
You, you, you, you...you mean..learn the English language in school? Go through some kinda process where they weed out criminals? Check people for bedbugs and stuff? Turn some people away? Yikes! What was that all about? Thank God they just opened up the derned borders and let 'em all in like flies through an open screen door. Just think, we probably have less government employees nowadays because we dont have to staff those busy immigration posts anymore. And after all, its easier to follow terrorists and drug cartels when they're in your own backyard, isn't it? Makes sense to me.

Yes onward and upward! As I view this horrid film of the utter people abuse of yesteryear, I realize America is on the right track!

Reviewer: ERD - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 20, 2005
Subject: Made after W.W.II
A 1946 film shortly made after World War II. Of course it was going be optimistic. It conceintrates on the major groups that immigrated here in the 19th and first quarter of the twentieth century. While a more enlightened and accurate history of our country is taught now, for its time it did a good job.
Reviewer: Marysz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 29, 2005
Subject: A Small World After All
An optimistic and assimilationist history of immigration to America made in 1946. Since just about all of the immigrants we see in this film are white, they easily fit themselves into American life. Interestingly, the film mentions membership in trade unions as one of the ways that different immigrant groups learn to ÃÂÃÂwork together.ÃÂÃÂ Trade unions were still viewed positively in 1946, but as the postwar years went on and anti-communist hysteria took hold in America, that would unfortunately change.

According to the film, immigrants came to America in order to be able to own land, hold independent political views and escape religious persecution. But does America really represent those freedoms anymore? As the years go on America is starting to become more and more like the oppressive Old Countries our ancestors wanted so badly to get away from.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 14, 2003
Subject: Welcome all of you white people!
A pretty shocking and historically incorrect film which first blurts out that everyone in the United States is an immigrant, blatantly ignoring any mention of American Indians. Then we the atypical european family arriving from wherever they were to Ellis Island. We know that they'll have a nicer time here because we don't mind your religion or language (but color is another story all together it seems). This is a fairly historically important film, for all the wrong reasons.
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